Please welcome the MaxAmp(TM) into the NEC line of products!
The MaxAmp(TM) is the answer to those that want the super loud sound but still want to maintain the ease of having a single battery setup. When wiring this amp on the main board and running the speaker from it, the output will be increased by a good amount, allowing for a nice loud saber even in Cons or other nosier environments.How does it work?
By wiring the audio signal and mute signal from the board (and power and ground), any speaker could be hooked to this board instead of the Igniter Mini(TM) or Spark(TM) board, which will allow for louder sounds.
Here is a diagram of the simple setup for the MaxAmp(TM) [click for full size]What is the shape/size of it?
The module being only 0.64" x 0.70" is quite small; it is even smaller than the TruDrive(TM) break-off board, and since it only has components on the top side it is extremely thin. Further, the corners can be ground down to make it more circular, and then can be placed in the hilt vertically. This allows for virtually endless install possibilities.
Here are a couple pictures of the board next to the TruDrive(TM) and Igniter Mini(TM).How does it sound?
To try and give you an idea of how it actually sounds, I've run an audio test with Igniter(TM) original, Igniter Mini(TM), and Igniter Mini(TM) with the MaxAmp(TM) module. The test consists of installing a 28mm Railmaster non-bass speaker into a piece of MHS pipe. I then hooked up my condenser mic exactly 1" from behind the end of the MHS test saber piece. Here is a picture of the speaker setup:
Then, I ran each of the three board setups through this speaker and mic setup, and recorded some of Father's Son(TM) for a comparison.
Igniter Mini(TM) w/ MaxAmp(TM)
For each test the physical mic settings were untouched. After recording those raw sounds I put them in a row and made a wav file, then converted to MP3. The only editing I did was to trim out white noise and put them into one file; otherwise the sounds are raw from the mic.
The following wav file has all three in a row (Igniter, Mini, MaxAmp(TM)). The "Father's Son(TM)" sound marks where the next setup starts.Audio Test Results
From the results it is clear to hear that the Mini has a bit better quality audio than the Igniter(TM). The Igniter(TM) is a tiny bit louder, but they are actually pretty close (closer than I thought they would be). However, from the instant the "Father's Son(TM)" quote plays and then the ignition comes in it is clear that by far the MaxAmp(TM) is much louder than either of the either two, even with only one battery! And it still maintains a nice clean sound like the Mini, though the Mini does accentuate the higher tones a bit more.
Further, I did up a picture from the audio program showing the height differences of the wav forms, where greater distances will imply more loudness. I measured the biggest peak in the sequence before the height lines I drew. The picture is below [click for full size]:
From this picture it is clear to see that the MaxAmp(TM) is 1.5 times the height of the Mini, and still a great deal louder than Igniter(TM). This was also confirmed from the wav file, where the MaxAmp(TM) sounds louder than both of the other two.
In conclusion the MaxAmp(TM) is the loudest of the bunch by far, and most likely the loudest thing on the market.Can it get better?
Yes! Not only can you just use the MaxAmp(TM) to get more volume with one speaker, but you can still hook up a second speaker from the original board and have a super loud speaker setup! The best way to do this is to run a passive low-pass filter to the TCSS bass speaker from the MaxAmp(TM), and then hook up either a 28mm Railmaster, 27mm Railmaster Bass or 20mm TCSS speaker to the board. I did the middle of the three for my Naigon Master V2 (well now V3, I'll make a post on it soon) saber, but for now here's a pic of the speaker setup. The railmaster 27mm fits nicely backwards in the TCSS speaker holder:
I've also included a wiring diagram for this setup as well. I'll be adding it into the manual soon, but for now you can find it here [click for full size]:Are there any drawbacks to this thing?
Like any good thing there are some drawbacks. The main thing is the extra space required, especially when doing two speakers. The other main drawback is that as you can see from the wiring diagrams it requires soldering to small surface mount components on Igniter Mini(TM) as the audio signal and mute signal are not available as a pad, at least not currently. With these two drawbacks and because as it was shown the default Igniter Mini(TM) sound are so good I expect that many of you will not really need this module, and that the default sound from the Mini/Spark is good enough since I've just shown that it is pretty loud. However, for anyone that cons a lot or just has to have the loudest saber ever, this is for you!Will it work with other boards?
It obviously works with Mini, and thus with Spark(TM) as well. It does not work with Igniter(TM) as it requires 3.7v to operate (less than 5 specifically).
As for non-NEC products, it should work, though you would need to know where to solder the two wires, and if the other board supports audio shutoff by grounding. You may have to wire to the CPU directly and might need a N-channel mosfet/NPN transistor with a pullup to get the audio shutoff (aka audio amp mute) to work (you can always just hook the audio shutoff to power and the amp will always be on, but that wastes power and you may hear some anomalies in the audio when it is just sitting there). Again you definitely need to ask the manufacturer before using this product with it.I need it! How much does it cost, and when can I get it?
The MaxAmp(TM) will cost $40.00 plus shipping. I'll be putting it in the store by this weekend; Jury Duty has really been slowing down my overall progress on things!
Thanks again everyone, Godspeed and MTFBWY!